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Interrogative Investigations cover

Interrogative Investigations

The Form, Meaning and Use of English Interrogatives

Jonathan Ginzburg and Ivan A. Sag

Interrogative constructions are the linguistic forms by which questions are expressed. Their analysis is of great interest to linguists, as well as to computer scientists, human-computer interface designers, and philosophers. Interrogative constructions have played a central role in the development of modern syntactic theory. Nonetheless, to date most syntactic work has taken place quite separately from formal semantic and pragmatic work on interrogatives. Although there has by now been a significant amount of work on interrogatives across a variety of languages, there exist few syntactic and semantic treatments that provide a comprehensive account of a wide range of interrogative constructions and uses in a single language.

This book closes the gap in research on this subject. By developing the frameworks of Head Driven Phrase Structure Grammar and Situation Semantics, the authors provide an account that rigorously integrates syntactic, semantic, and contextual dimensions of interrogatives. The challenge of providing exhaustive coverage of the interrogative constructions of English, including various constructions that occur solely in dialogue interaction, leads to new insights about a variety of contentious theoretical issues. These include matters of semantic ontology, the quantificational status of wh-phrases, the semantic effect of wh-fronting, the status of constructions in grammatical theory, the integration of illocutionary information in the grammar, and the nature of ellipsis resolution in dialogue. The account is stated with sufficient rigor to enable fairly direct computational implementation.

Advance Praise for Interrogative Investigations

With its attention to both empirical and formal detail, its integration of syntactic and semantic investigation, its theoretical innovativeness, and its coverage of English grammar, this book is an impressive achievement. It brings out the potential of HPSG as a grammatical framework, and sets an inspiring standard for work in generative grammar.
—;Lars Hellan, professor in General Linguistics at Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway

There is no lack of detailed syntactic studies of questions. There is also no shortage of sophisticated semantic analyses of interrogatives. But there are very few books that try to bring the syntactic and the semantic analysis together. “Interrogative Investigations” does precisely this. It covers a wide range of interrogative constructions in English and at the same time provides an innovative semantic analysis using a constraint based approach.
Elisabet Engdahl, professor at Gothenburg University in Sweden.

Jonathan Ginzburg was lecturer in the computer science department at King's College, London and is now Professor, UFR Études anglophones Université Paris-Diderot (Paris 7). Ivan A. Sag (1949–2013) was Professor of Linguistics at Stanford University.

List of corrigenda.

Read an excerpt from this book.

Contents

  • Preface
  • 1 Introduction
    • 1.1 Prolegomena
    • 1.2 Syntactic Preview
      • 1.2.1 Generative Grammar
      • 1.2.2 Constraint-Based Grammar
      • 1.2.3 The Primacy of Constructions
      • 1.2.4 Some Syntactic Consequences
    • 1.3 Semantic Preview
      • 1.3.1 Beyond Montague Semantics
      • 1.3.2 Situation Theory and Situation Semantics
      • 1.3.3 Some Semantics Theses
    • 1.4 Conclusion

  • 2 HPSG: Background
    • 2.1 Introduction
    • 2.2 Feature Structures
    • 2.3 Words
    • 2.4 Features of Verbals
      • 2.4.1 Distinguishing Verbal Forms
      • 2.4.2 Distinguishing Verbal Meanings
      • 2.4.3 Some Auxiliary Issues
    • 2.5 Phrases as Feature Structures
    • 2.6 Clause Types
    • 2.7 Main and Embedded Clauses
    • 2.8 Complementarizers and To
    • 2.9 Proposition-Embedding Verbs
    • 2.10 Fact-Denoting Declarative Clauses
    • 2.11 Summary

  • 3 A Semantic Ontology
    • 3.1 Introduction: Semantic Theory and Ontology
    • 3.2 An Ontology for Finite Clauses in English
      • 3.2.1 Distinguishing Questions from Propositions
      • 3.2.2 Do Interrogatives Ever Denote Propositions?
      • 3.2.3 The Missing Semantic Type: Facts
      • 3.2.4 Outcomes
      • 3.2.5 Interim Summary and Implications
    • 3.3 Building an Ontology of Semantic Types: Basic Tools
      • 3.3.1 Basic Strategy
      • 3.3.2 Situation Structures
      • 3.3.3 Simultaneous Abstraction
    • 3.4 A Situational Universe with Abstract Entities
      • 3.4.1 The Austinian Strategy
      • 3.4.2 Basic Definition
      • 3.4.3 Possibilities, Facts, and Propositions
      • 3.4.4 Outcomes
      • 3.4.5 Compounding Operations on propositions
      • 3.4.6 Summary
    • 3.5 Questions
      • 3.5.1 Questions as Exhaustivity Encoders
      • 3.5.2 Questions as Propositional Abstracts
      • 3.5.3 Notions of Answerhood
      • 3.5.4 Recap
    • 3.6 A TFS Version of the Ontology
      • 3.6.1 Basic Setup
      • 3.6.2 Interpreting Typed Feature Structure
      • 3.6.3 Semantic Universals: selection and clause denotations

  • 4 Wh-Phrase Meaning
    • 4.1 Quantification and Domain Selection
    • 4.2 The Semantic Contribution of Wh-Phrases
    • 4.3 The (Non)-Quantificational Nature of Wh-Phrases
      • 4.3.1 Eh-Phrases as Generalized Quantifiers?
      • 4.3.2 The Non-Synonymy of Multiple Wh-Interrogatives and Wh/GQ-Interrogatives
      • 4.3.3 Preposuppositions of Which-Interrogatives
    • 4.4 Wh-phrase and GQ Interaction
      • 4.4.1 Functional Readings
      • 4.4.2 Wh-Phrases and Adverbs
      • 4.4.3 Pair-List Readings: Evidence for Quantifying In?
    • 4.5 Describing Functional Uses
    • 4.6 Summary and General Architecture

  • 5 Unbounded Dependencies
    • 5.1 Extraction Dependencies
      • 5.1.1 Extracted Arguments
      • 5.1.2 ‘Tropicalization’: an Extraction Construction
      • 5.1.3 Some Constraints on Extraction
    • 5.2 Pied Piping
      • 5.2.1 Wh-Words
      • 5.2.2 WH Percolation
    • 5.3 Quantifier Scope
    • 5.4 Context
    • 5.5 Summary

  • 6 Basic Interrogatives and Exclamatives
    • 6.1 Introduction
    • 6.2 Wh-Complementizers
    • 6.3 Polar Interrogatives
    • 6.4 Wh-Exclamative Phrases
    • 6.5 Wh-Interrogatives
      • 6.5.1 General Constraints
      • 6.5.2 Nonsubject Wh-Interrogives
      • 6.5.3 Subject Wh-Interrogives
    • 6.6 Multiple Wh-Questions
      • 6.6.1 The Basic Analysis of Multiple Wh-Questions
      • 6.6.2 Superiority Effects
    • 6.7 Conclusion

  • 7 In-Situ Wh-Phrases
    • 7.1 Reprise Uses of Interrogative
      • 7.1.1 Background
      • 7.1.2 Syntactic Constraints
    • 7.2 The Semantics of Reprise Uses
    • 7.3 Non-Reprising In-Situ Wh-Interrogives
    • 7.4 Summary of In-Situ Clauses Types
    • 7.5 Cross-Linguistic Variation

  • 8 Extensions
    • 8.1 Short Questions and Answers
      • 8.1.1 Ellipsis Resolution
      • 8.1.2 General Approach
      • 8.1.3 Lexical utterances
      • 8.1.4 Declarative Fragment Clauses
      • 8.1.5 Sluicing: General Strategy
      • 8.1.6 Reprise Sluices
      • 8.1.7 Direct Sluices
      • 8.1.8 Summary
    • 8.2 Negative Questions
      • 8.2.1 Introduction
      • 8.2.2 A Semantic Analysis of Positive and Negative Polar Question
      • 8.2.3 Distinctness in Content and Contextual Appropriateness
      • 8.2.4 Conclusion
    • 8.3 Selection and Coercion
      • 8.3.1 Question Predicates
      • 8.3.2 Resolutive Predicates

  • Appendix A: Types
    • A.1 Some Basic Types
      • A.1.1 Type Hierarchy
      • A.1.2 Type Declarations
      • A.1.3 Type Constraints
    • A.2 Phrase Types
      • A.2.1 Type Hierarchy
      • A.2.2 Nonmaximal Phrase Types
      • A.2.3 Maximal Declarative-Clause Types
      • A.2.4 Maximal Interrogative Types
      • A.2.5 Other Clausal Types
      • A.2.6 Maximal Nonclausal Types

  • Appendix B: Semantics
    • B.1 Some Basic Semantic Types
      • B.1.1 Semantic Type Hierarchy
      • B.1.2 Type Declarations
      • B.1.3 Maximal Nonclausal Types
    • B.2 Interpreting Typed Feature Structures
    • B.3 Semantic Structures
      • B.3.1 SU+AE: The Definitions
      • B.3.2 Notions related to Questions
      • B.3.3 SU+AE: Formal Foundations

  • Appendix C: Lexicon
    • C.1 Introduction
    • C.2 General Lexical Constraints
    • C.3 Sample Lexical Entries
      • C.3.1 Determiners
      • C.3.2 Preposition
      • C.3.3 Complementizers
      • C.3.4 Verbs
      • C.3.5 Adjectives
      • C.3.6 Nouns
      • C.3.5 Gerunds
      • C.3.6 Propsitional Lexemes

  • List of Abbreviations
  • References
  • Index

4/1/2001

ISBN (Paperback): 1575862786 (9781575862781)
ISBN (Cloth): 1575862778 (9781575862774)
ISBN (electronic):1575868849 (9781575868844)

Books by Ivan A. Sag

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